Top 5 Harmful Effects Of Gluten, And Why You Should Get Rid Of It
Gluten, a type of protein that is found in barley, rye and wheat, can cause inflammation and is not easily digested in the gut. In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the harmful effects of gluten on health. A recent investigation shows that about 30 percent of Americans are trying to get rid of gluten from their everyday meals. Here are the top 5 harmful effects of gluten on health.
1. Gluten is Connected with Autoimmune Ailments.
In some individuals, gluten can trigger autoimmune responses. An autoimmune ailment occurs when the immune system attacks the body because it confuses it for something foreign. There are more than one hundred different kinds of autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and diabetes.
It is estimated that one in five Americans suffer from an auto immune ailment. The likelihood of preventing such debilitating ailments is a good reason to cut out gluten from your diet.
2. Intestinal Damage and Celiac Disease Celiac Disease
It is a disorder that leads to damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods that contain gluten – mainly barley, rye and wheat – are consumed. The resulting damage to the small intestine makes it more difficult to absorb certain nutrients, such as folate, vitamin D, iron and calcium.
With time, this can result in health problems such as infertility, anemia and osteoporosis. Symptoms can include diarrhea, stomach pain, chronic fatigue, neurological problems and weight loss.
The only known way to treat this ailment is total lifelong elimination of gluten from the diet. This is because even minute quantities can result in damage to the intestinal lining.
3. Gluten Sensitivity
Individuals who have gluten sensitivity are prone to experience apparent symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, constipation, bloating or gas soon after consuming gluten. Also, such individuals might experience other symptoms for example brain fog, headaches, numbness or joint pain, and tingling within the legs, hands and arms.
4. Gluten Affects the Brain Adversely
Even though gluten mainly affects the lining of the small intestine, it can also severely affect the brain. Gluten contains opiate-like substances referred to as exorphins or gliadorphins, which mimic the debilitating and addictive effects of opiate medications such as morphine and heroine.
Exorphins contained in grains are addictive. Like morphine, exorphins adhere to opioid receptors which are found all through the body. Most individuals that have an opiate peptide problem with gluten , have cravings as well for products that contain gluten.
When such individuals eliminate gluten from their diets, they typically experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, fatigue and headache. If gluten has an adverse effect on the brain, then it should not be surprising that it can also affect mental health.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is also one of the top 5 harmful effects of gluten on health. IBS, which afflicts approximately 15 percent of the US population, involves digestive problems with an unidentified cause. However, several studies have shown that certain cases of irritable bowel syndrome might be either caused or aggravated by gluten.
If you experience any of the symptoms in this article consult your doctor and try eliminating gluten from your diet. There are so many options these days that going gluten free need not be such a struggle as it once was. Also be sure to choose organic fruits and vegetables will go a long way in alleviating some of these symptoms.